FHWA Unveils Second Round of Alternative Fuel and Electric Charging Corridors

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on March 9 announced its second round of alternative fuel corridor designations as Congressionally mandated under the December 2015 highway bill titled Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

Rounds 1 and 2 of FHWA’s Alternative Fuel Corridor Designations included 58 nominations and segments or entire lengths of 71 interstate corridors. Forty-four states now are designated as corridor-ready or corridor-pending for one or more alternative fuel types.

NATSO members can access maps illustrating the various corridors here.

A list of the 2017 corridor-ready alternative fuel corridors can be found here.

NATSO continues to analyze the information about these corridors and will update NATSO members as more intelligence becomes available.

Congress directed DOT to identify and establish fueling corridors to support alternative-fueling stations, including electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas fueling infrastructure at strategic locations along major national highways in the FAST Act signed into law in December 2015. DOT was further charged with identifying the near- and long-term need for, and locations of, electric vehicle, natural gas, and propane refueling infrastructure for both passenger and commercial vehicles.

NATSO has urged DOT in meetings and in comments filed with the agency to harness the knowledge and ingenuity of existing exit-based businesses for private investment for alternative fuel infrastructure without preempting consumer demand or forcing the private sector to compete with the government. Furthering alternative fueling facilities, such as natural gas and electric vehicle charging stations, is best realized if the travel plaza and truckstop industry's business environment is recognized as an asset.

NATSO by and large supports efforts to expand the use of alternative fuels for transportation, and thinks its members' locations could play a vital role in establishing alternative fuel corridors.

However, NATSO strongly opposes the installation of alternative-fueling stations at rest areas and thinks states should work with existing exit-based businesses to install them at private businesses. Furthermore, NATSO thinks that state governments should not provide transportation fuel paid for with tax dollars.

Offering electric charging services or natural gas at rest areas would allow the state to enter into direct competition with the private businesses already operating near the interstate exit interchanges to meet the fueling needs of the motoring public. In addition, state governments would preempt consumer demand for new technology and emerging fuels, effectively destroying the incentive for private sector investment.


via Business Feeds

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